When we think of “professional athletes,” the names that come to our minds are players such as Kurt Warner, Andre Agassi, Mark McGwire, Michael Jordan, Brett Hull, and Steve Austin to name a few. These male athletes are very popular in the professional sports world. But what about Dot Richardson, Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoopes, Mia Hamm, and Cammi Granato to name a few more? These are female professional athletes that some might recognize, but their names are not as popular as the men’s names. Their names may sound unfamiliar to most of us because women’s professional sports are not recognized as much as men’s. However, thanks to the passing of the 1972 Education Amendment to the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, women are participating more than ever in the sports world and funding has been increasing. Title IX states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Women are becoming a bigger part of the professional sports world. The number of professional sports for women is growing at a very fast rate. Right now though, the comparison of women’s professional sports to men’s professional sports still varies greatly. For example, men’s professional sports range from wrestling to football to skateboarding. Women on the other hand, do not have the opportunity to participate in these professional sports. But this is changing quickly. Women are beginning to receive the same opportunities in sports as men.
On the other end of the “field,” television, radio, and written broadcasting of women’s sports are at a great disadvantage compared to men’s. How often do you turn on the television, or the radio, or open the newspaper and see coverage for women’s sports? The answer is hardly ever. Now, if you turn on the television, radio, or open the newspaper, you are ten times as likely to be looking at coverage on professional or collegiate men’s sports than women’s. Football, basketball, baseball, and hockey to name a few are examples of men’s sports being broadcasted all the time in comparison to women’s. What about the women’s sports? Are the less important than the men’s? Why don’t they get the equal amount of coverage?
Another issue that comes into play is the salaries of male professional athletes compared to female professional athletes. In other words, there is no comparison. On the average, men get paid four times as much as women do in professional sports. This is not fair at all, especially since women seem to be more dedicated to playing the sports than receiving money for it. They are doing their “jobs” for the love of it, not the pay. They are doing it exceptionally well as a matter of fact.
In conclusion, women are rising to the challenge of making women’s professional sports just as important, if not more, than men’s. It has been a long travel to reach such heights, but one well worth it. Women are gaining more and more respect every day. To sum it all up, no one, on the basis of sex, should be limited or denied the right to participate in any activity that they can excel in. It is not fair to keep those that have so much talent away from what they excel in.